Tatek Assefa

NERN (2013)

Program Coordinator

Center for Whole Communities

Fayston, Vermont

Tatek Assefa strongly identifies with his experience as a first-generation American and a “Third Culture Kid” and he grounds himself in the belief that a life spent in the service of others is a life well lived.  Born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin; he grew up in the multicultural/international Eagle Heights neighborhood.  His interest in learning about other people’s worldview began at his elementary school (which was comprised of students from over 70 nations) and followed him to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he studied Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies.  Social, global, and environmental justice and equality have been philosophically in line with Tatek’s personal values for as long as he can remember and he has consciously lived his life in a manner that reflects this.  After traveling, living and working abroad, Tatek returned to Madison and enrolled in the Sustainability Leadership graduate program at Edgewood College.  As the sole person of color in his graduate school cohort, he became acutely aware of the dearth of varied voices in the sustainability conversation, which led him to research, develop and work on projects specifically designed to move people towards social and environmental justice and equity.  Tatek has also served as an editor and writer-at-large for international monthlies on two different continents and has written eleven (short) filmed projects and one staged play.  His interests lie in social justice and equity, leadership, communication, and sustainability.